Leadership Biographies

Vicki Christiansen


Vicki Christiansen serves as Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, leading a workforce of more than 25,000 permanent employees who steward 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands; support the world’s largest forestry research organization; and work with states, tribes and others to sustain all forests so they can benefit all citizens, today and in the future. Over her 36-year career, she has accumulated a wealth of experience in natural resource and wildland fire management. Her commitment to the core values of the Forest Service, which are conservation, service, interdependence, diversity and safety, is evident in the priorities she sets for the agency. As Chief, Vicki is leading agency efforts to improve the conditions of America’s forests and grasslands by modernizing how we do business to increase active forest management and deliver landscape conservation through shared stewardship with local, state and national partners and tribes. Vicki’s focus on relationships inside and outside the agency is reflected in the Forest Service’s dedication to caring for the land, communities and the people we serve.  

Vicki joined the Forest Service in 2010 as the Deputy Director of Fire and Aviation Management. Prior to serving as Chief, she worked as Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry overseeing Forest Service activities in managing wildland fire and working with our partners to sustain the health and productivity of non-federal forest lands. Prior to joining the Forest Service, she served as the Arizona State Forester and director of the Arizona Division of Forestry, where she was responsible for the protection of 22 million acres of state and private lands in Arizona. She had previously served as the Washington State Forester, the culmination of a 26-year career with Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Chief Vicki Christiansen


Lenise Lago

Associate Chief

Lenise Lago grew up in Athens, Georgia, where she attended the University of Georgia, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Timber Management and a Master of Forest Resources from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forest Resources.

Lenise worked briefly in the forest products industry before joining the Forest Service in 1989. She has worked in a variety of Planning, Budget, and Resource Management jobs, splitting time between the western U.S. (16 years in Montana, Washington and Oregon), and Washington D.C. (10 years).

As Deputy Chief for the agency’s Business Operations from 2011 to 2017, Lenise provided leadership and oversight for all the agency’s administrative functions, including Human Resources, Information Technology, and Contracting as well as Safety, Job Corps, and Sustainable Operations. Business Operations employs more than 4,000 people and enables the work of 40,000 Forest Service employees.

After being selected to serve as Acting Associate Chief in September, 2017, Lenise was named Associate Chief in November, 2018.


Lenise Lago in front of flags


Chief's Office Staff



Phone Number

Vicki Christiansen Chief (202) 205-8439
Lenise Lago Associate Chief (202) 205-1779
Angela Coleman Chief of Staff (202) 205-0998
Cynthia Hale Executive Assistant to the Chief (202) 205-8439
William Low Acting Executive Assistant to the Associate Chief (202) 205-1779
Laurie Campbell Exec. Assistant to the Chief of Staff (202) 205-0998
Bonita Tyler Office Manager (202) 205-4977
Angela Warner Program Specialist (202) 205-1422